Aero-thermal analysis of an aircraft RAM-AIR fan

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The Heat and Mass Transfer Technological Centre (CTTC UPC) studied, in the framework of a European CleanSky project (EFFAN), the fluid-dynamic and thermal behaviour of an aircraft ram-air fan. The development of new aircraft that are more electric has created the need for an independent ram-air fan with new requirements: i) for it to cover an extended pressure-flow working range with no surge issues, and ii) for it to allow the working temperature levels to be increased.

CTTC UPC was particularly active in the thermal analysis of the fan motor and devised a new calculation method based on previously developed numerical techniques such as the immersed boundary method and adaptive mesh refinement. This numerical strategy is able to simulate the intricate 3D geometry inside the fan motor with great flexibility (materials, thin elements, etc.). The simulation also considers the external flow’s convective heat transfer and the motor’s internal heat generation.